PUEBLO—The City of Pueblo Wastewater Department is hosting town hall meetings at various locations across the community to educate the public about the upcoming renewals and review period for treatment variance options. This is to help inform monthly sewer rate payers and help answer questions from residents.
“We’re inviting the public to learn more about the discharge specific variance that Pueblo Wastewater has received previously and will be under review this October,” said Director of Pueblo Wastewater Andra Ahrens. “The reason we have been able to keep wastewater rates fairly low and affordable is because we look to ensure fees do not exceed 1.5% of the median household income in Pueblo.”
The Wastewater Department is inviting the public to discuss the impacts of the variance the Colorado Water Quality Division, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has supported previously with the Pueblo’s James R. Dilorio Water Reclamation Facility (Pueblo WRF). The variance term is expiring in 2028, with a review by the Colorado Water Quality Division occurring this year in 2023 which will assist the City of Pueblo’s planning for the future.
The townhalls are planned to take place on the following days and times:
Monday, July 10 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. located at Lamb Library 2525 S. Pueblo Boulevard
Tuesday, July 11 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. located at Barkman Library 1300 Jerry Murphy Road
Monday, July 17 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. located at Lamb Library 2525 S. Pueblo Boulevard
Wednesday, July 19 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. located at Rawlings Library 100 E. Abriendo Avenue
Friday, July 21 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. located at Rawlings Library 100 E. Abriendo Avenue
In 2018, the State of Colorado-Water Quality Control Commission adopted a Discharge Specific Variance (DSV) for selenium and sulfate that represents the highest degree of protection for aquation life that is feasible for Pueblo WRF. The variance was supported by the Colorado Water Quality Division, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and EPA.
The terms of the approved DSV included implementing a $10 million management program in 2018 to reduce concentrations as much as feasible. The management program includes lining and replacing sewer pipe and service lines, sealing manholes, implement a sump pump removal requirement for homeowners and investigating additional treatment options. The management program has resulted in some measurable reduction in sources of selenium and the City continues to implement the program during the variance term.
Pueblo’s Wastewater Department is funded by fees charged to customers and does not receive any revenue from property taxes or sales tax. The Wastewater Department strives to ensure investments in infrastructure do not have widespread negative economic impacts on Pueblo residents, which is why the town halls will take place across the community for outreach efforts.
For more information about the town halls with Pueblo Wastewater visit https://www.pueblo.us/2911/Wastewater-Town-Halls or call 719-553-2896.